Frogs put away KU 8-2 in home opener

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    The Horned Frogs got off to a fast start in the 2011 baseball season opener at Lupton Stadium.

    The Frogs scored five runs in the first inning and went on to beat the Kansas Jayhawks 8-2.

    Frogs’ sophomore starting pitcher Matt Purke had a strong outing, throwing four shutout innings on a limited pitch count.

    It was predetermined that Purke was going to throw around 60 pitches in tonight’s start, head coach Jim Schlossnagle said.

    Schlossnagle will keep Purke fresh to start the season. Purke didn’t throw all summer or during the fall.

    “I had a lot left in the tank,” Purke said. “But I was able to get my work in early on and we were able to move on to the next guy.”

    Purke finished with three strikeouts, one walk and one hit given up in his four scoreless innings. Purke now has 17 wins in a TCU uniform and zero losses.

    After Purke’s night was through, two freshmen pitchers took over on the mound in Andrew Mitchell and Tyler Duffie.

    TCU senior catcher Jimmie Pharr said that the freshmen looked good in the game tonight. Mitchell threw two innings and Duffie threw three to finish the game.

    It is a big sign for the team to have freshmen come up big in the season opener, Schlossnagle said. Mitchell came out and threw strikes and had his best stuff show up tonight.

    The Frogs got a solid performance at the plate to support the pitching staff by jumping out to an early lead.

    The early offense chased Jayhawks starting pitcher T.J. Walz after four innings. Walz, a preseason All-Big 12 selection, threw 90 pitches and gave up seven earned runs.

    The Frogs were on pace to score 24 runs with 2/3 of the game remaining– the Frogs put up five runs in the first inning and three in the third inning.

    Jimmie Pharr was one of the key performers at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs batted in.

    The bottom four of the line-up, including Pharr who batted sixth, contributed seven of the team’s nine hits in the ballgame.

    “The top of the order worked the count, and their guys made some mistakes to the bottom of our line-up and we took advantage,” Pharr said.

    The Frogs also got RBI hits from junior shortstop Taylor Featherston, sophomore third baseman Jantzen Witte, junior infielder/outfielder Aaron Schultz and junior outfielder/infielder Brance Rivera.

    The win Friday night came in front of a home crowd of 6,099, a new Lupton Stadium record. The previous record of 4,375 came last year against Texas A&M.

    Up next

    The Frogs continue action with two more games against Kansas. First pitch Saturday is at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

    Win: Purke (1-0)

    Loss: Walz (0-1)

    Save: Duffie (1)

    Scoring Summary:

    TCU 1st: 4 walks by T.J. Walz brought in one run. Jantzen Witte had an RBI base hit scoring 1 run, and 2 more runs scored on the play on a throwing error by the second baseman. Jimmie Pharr later scored Witte from third with an RBI single. TCU 5-0

    TCU 3rd: Featherston was hit by a pitch, then stole second. An RBI double by Pharr scored Featherston, then a triple by Aaron Schultz and a single by Brance Rivera each brought home a run. TCU 8-0

    KU 5th: Mitchell in to pitch for TCU. A one-out triple followed by a wild pitch scored the only run for Kansas. TCU 8-1

    KU 7th: A leadoff double followed by a sacrifice bunt and a walk put runners on 1st and 3rd. Another sacrifice bunt scored the runner from third. TCU 8-2

    Attendance: 6,099 — new TCU record (old record was 4,375)

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

    KU 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 5 1

    TCU 5 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 — 8 9 1